I hadn’t planned on making another snake video poem so soon after the last one, but I got some great footage of a northern water snake yesterday on a visit to a friend’s hunting camp, and the poem came to me this morning. The reading here might be a little over the top; I decided to try reading through clenched teeth.
Whatever burns in the airless ooze of my gut,
it’s far from fire. If red be its color,
it’s the toxic red of cinnabar.
It churns. It gurgles. It ties itself in knots.
Anger is an acid, altering everything it touches.
Vitriol, the alchemists called it:
mixed with common salt, it produces
gastric acid, which those ardent
scientists of the soul revered as spirits of salt.
Ah, to think that their philosopher’s stone,
granter of base wishes,
might be glimmering at the end
of such tortuous metamorphoses!
The Alkahest, universal solvent, so wondrously corrosive
nothing could ever hold it in.